Brandon Graham is the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia, yet the 2022 season will be one of his most challenging in years. Graham is coming off a ruptured Achilles that limited him to just two games last year -- and he's heading into the back end of his current contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Graham, who has had plenty to prove throughout his standout career with Philadelphia, is looking forward to helping out the new Eagles edge rusher rotation with Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat. His offseason is already off to a strong start.
"I feel like I'm me again, if not better," Graham said on JAKIB Media's Sports Take Tuesday. "I'm OTA ready. I'm going to be doing a lot of the same things with the team. It's not what we used to do with the team reps and stuff, but it's going to be more individual. Nothing really that's gonna tax you too much in the individual drills, but that's what we like doing.
"I'm back to normal. It's about getting my lungs right. This offseason is pretty much the same. I'm off the protocol of just rehabbing every day. It's just more so training and getting my body right. I feel like I'm me. It's just about doing it now."
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Graham said he didn't feel any pain initially when he ruptured his Achilles, but said the pain came when he had to get on his toes. He admitted the tendon was weak, so he needed to build that up. The Eagles could use a healthy Graham on a defensive line that had just 29 sacks last season, the second-fewest in the NFL. In Graham's last full season (2020), he finished with 51 pressures, 46 tackles, 16 quarterback hits, eight sacks, and two forced fumbles in earning a Pro Bowl berth.
Only four players in the NFL had eight sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles in 2020 --T.J. Watt, Aaron Donald, Reddick, and Graham. Two of them will be on the same defensive line in 2022.
How long will Graham remain on the Eagles -- and in the NFL? He still has two years left on his current contract with the Eagles, which will take him through his age-35 season. Graham is already thinking about his future in the league beyond this year.
"I wanted to get to 15 (years)," Graham said. "I just love this game. I can't lie. I know I'll have to deal with it when I have to deal with it. I just want to carry out this year and play two more years after that. I want to get to 15 years, then I'll really consider it (retirement) then."